Indian Ink begins in 1930s India, just as the country is breaking away from the British Empire. Against this historical backdrop, English poet Flora Crewe becomes friends with Indian painter Nirad Das. Fifty years later, Nirad's son Anish (also a painter) journeys to England to quiz Flora's sister Eleanor Swan about his late father, while back in India an American biographer named Eldon Pike and an Indian professor called Dilip are trying to retrace the footsteps of Flora.
Stoppard created the work as a 1991 radio play, "In the Native State," and then fashioned it into a stage play. Since its London premiere, Indian Ink has been presented in the U.S. by American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C., Apple Tree Theatre in Chicago, Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia, Quantum Theater in Pittsburgh and Missouri Rep in Kansas City.
Alter Ego is only one year old. The company's previous productions include Girish Karnad's Hayvadana in June 2002 and Anuvab Pal's Chaos Theory in October 2002.
Producer Nilay Oza told Playbill On-Line that Alter Ego has been corresponding with Stoppard about Indian Ink for the past year. Stoppard was particularly interested in the troupe due to the predominantly South Asian makeup of the ensemble.
The cast includes Lethia Nall, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Deep Katdare, Helen Jean Arthur, Brian Coffey, Debargo Sanyal, Rebecca Challis, Kevin Chap, G.R. Johnson, Vikram Somaya and Prashant Vijay. Ashok Sinha directs. Indian Ink is presented in Walkerspace Theater (46 Walker Street).